REPORT: THE MYTH OF ANTI-MUSLIM BIAS

INVESTIGATIVE REPORT By Douglas J. Hagmann, Director

14 May 2007: The recent arrests of the six Muslim terror suspects in New Jersey have set off new warnings across the country of potential anti-Muslim backlash by the by Islamic organizations such as the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee. Even before these arrests, reports crimes against Muslims were said to be up nearly 30% in 2005, the latest figures published by CAIR in a report titled The Status of Muslim Civil Rights in the United States 2006. To read this report along with recent media accounts of anti-Muslim backlash, one would reasonably think that crime against Muslims is a significant and growing problem in America. Based on research conducted by the Northeast Intelligence Network and this investigator, however, the purported rise in anti-Muslim crimes has little to no basis in fact.

The table below is excerpted from the above-referenced CAIR report:

SOURCE: The Status of Muslim Civil Rights in the United States 2006
According to the above-referenced report, the largest category of anti-Muslim activities appears under the heading of “Due Process Issues.” It is important to note that this category contains a wide variety of both confirmed and unconfirmed reports, including “all complaints of unreasonable arrest, detention, surveillance, interrogation, seizure and “accusations.” The totality of figures include but are not limited to civil actions that have yet to be adjudicated, uncorroborated accusations of verbal abuse, employment terminations that might not be solely attributed to the “victim” being a Muslim, and legitimate law enforcement and security activities classified without foundation as anti-Muslim.

Of all complaints for that period, there were 153 incidents involving alleged physical abuse, and 24 alleged incidents of “violent threat” nationwide. That’s 177 incidents out of a population of 6.7 million. While we do not support anti-Muslim bias activity and do not want to trivialize any hate crimes whatsoever, some perspective is needed.

Consider that according to CAIR, there is no scientific count of Muslims in the U.S., and a variety of sources place the number of Muslims living in the U.S. anywhere between just under 3 million to 9 million. According to the 2001 World Almanac, the U.S. Muslim population is 5.8 million, while CAIR states that six to seven million is the most commonly cited figure.

To put the issue of anti-Muslim bias into perspective, then, incidents of anti-Muslim bias are as a percentage of the U.S. population is about 0.0003% - a number that barely warrants the label of a statistic. When you remove the unconfirmed incidents or isolate only those of a threatening nature, you have a figure that would barely register on most calculators.

Despite this infinitesimal figure, there has been a significant amount of media attention on anti-Muslim “backlash” without even the most basic research of the claims made. Additionally, the claims of anti-Muslim backlash, hate crimes against Muslims, profiling, and every other alleged anti-Islamic incident reported to CAIR is used to legitimize the need for Muslim sensitivity training in law enforcement, as well as numerous federal and state government agencies - essentially addressing a problem that does not exist.

Crimes committed because of religion, race or ethnicity should never be tolerated under any circumstance. Neither should the shameless and unquestioned exploitation of statistics about such crimes - it needs to stop.

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